The lesser striped swallow (Cecropis abyssinica) is a large swallow. It breeds in sub-Saharan Africa from Sierra Leone and southern Sudan south into eastern South Africa. It is partially migratory with South African birds wintering further north. West African birds leave the north of the breeding range in the dry season.

This is a bird of wooded, mainly lowland habitats, and is replaced in montane grassland by the greater striped swallow, Hirundo cucullata. It is common and often found around human habitation. The lesser striped swallow builds a bowl-shaped mud nest with a tubular entrance on the underside of a suitable structure. The nest has a soft lining, and may be reused in later years. The nest may be built in a cave or under a rock overhang or a tree branch. This species has benefited from its willingness to use buildings, bridges, culverts and similar structures. Given the choice, it will select a high nest site.

The eggs are glossy white sometimes with a few brown spots; three eggs is a typical clutch. Incubation is by the female alone for 14–16 days to hatching. Both parents then feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 17–19 days, but the young birds will return to the nest to roost for a few days after the first flight.

The lesser striped swallow is 15–10 cm long. It has dark blue upperparts with a red rump and a rufous-chestnut crown, nape and sides of the head. The underparts are white with dark streaking, and the upper wings and underwing flight feathers are blackish-brown. The underwing coverts are tawny. The blackish tail has very long outer feathers; these are slightly longer in the male than the female. Juveniles are duller and browner, with less contrast and shorter outer tail feathers. There are five or six subspecies differing in the extent of the underpart streaking

The lesser striped swallow has heavier and darker underparts striping, a deeper red rump, and a brighter head colour than the larger greater striped swallow. The lesser also prefers less open habitats. It feeds mainly on flying insects, but has been known to eat small fruits. The flight is erratic, and the call is a nasal zeh zeh zeh zeh zeh.
Lesser Striped-Swallow
Date Location Count
2020-11-14 07:52Ebekawopa (Abrafo)--"stingless bee center" forest patch4
2020-11-02 07:30Goma--Lac Kivu Lodge2
2020-11-01 07:00Mikeno Lodge and trail system, Virunga National Park10
2020-11-26 07:32Ruhondo wetland4
2020-11-08 06:44Kibale Guest Cottages1
2020-11-16 08:50Kibale Forest NP15
2020-11-10 08:00Bigodi Swamp8
2020-11-14 06:34Kibale Forest Camp1
2020-11-20 09:47Bigodi Community Walk3
2020-11-11 10:00UMUSAMBI VILLAGE - Wetlands and Grey Crowned Crane rehabilitation6
2020-11-08 06:47Mpanga Central Forestry Reserve12
2020-10-29 15:48Nsobe Camp1
2020-10-31Ruighoek Dam
2020-11-21 08:00Maasai Mara NR--Mara Triangle2
2020-11-16 05:35Pilanesberg NP--Kwa Maritane2
2020-11-15 09:03Serengeti NP--Visitor Center2
2020-11-21 09:26Marakele NP
2020-11-19 06:53Roodekopjes Dam Nature Reserve7
2020-11-22 06:06Breedtsnek Pass7
2020-11-21 15:52Mabula Game Lodge5
2020-11-21 15:09Hideaway Lodge9
2020-11-19 13:00Marlborough Vlei Sewage Works2
2020-11-18 05:53Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden2
2020-11-15 07:20Diepsloot Nature Reserve2
2020-11-19 06:10Eagle Canyon Golf Estate2
2020-11-24 17:20Darrenwood Dam4
2020-11-07 06:15Kwalata Lodge4
2020-11-15 06:05Candlewoods Wetland
2020-11-24 08:33University of Pretoria--Experimental Farm2
2020-11-20 13:44Rietvlei Nature Reserve5
2020-10-31 13:17Hippo Pools Wilderness Camp2
2020-10-31 06:51Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve4
2020-11-22 11:31Tarangire NP--Entrance Gate4
2020-11-12 11:40Tarangire NP--Tarangire Safari Lodge3
2020-11-11 16:00Tarangire NP--Lemiyon Circuit Grasslands2
2020-11-08 05:45Mkhombo Nature Reserve7
2020-11-08 10:50Paradise Lost1
2020-11-22 13:55Tarangire NP--Silale Swamp6
2020-11-06 06:42Marievale Bird Sanctuary--Hadeda Hide2
2020-11-14 06:08Old Verena Spa road6
2020-11-07 07:45Mabusa Nature Reserve2
2020-11-21 16:30Magongo Hills6
2020-11-18 08:17Arusha NP1
2020-11-04 11:31Tzaneen--Maroela Ave. mannikin spot4
2020-11-10 07:15Amboseli NP2
2020-11-22 07:08Amboseli NP--Ol Tukai Lodge3
2020-11-19 07:59Lydenburg
2020-11-17 15:11Blyde River Canyon Resort
2020-11-18 15:52Ohrigstad Dam
2020-11-17 07:21Vaalhoek Road
2020-10-30 13:34Kruger NP--Mopani Camp2
2020-11-02 17:04Van Reenen's Pass1
2020-11-20 09:34Mac Mac Pools1
2020-11-18 11:47Tsavo West NP--northern section
2020-11-20 06:40Tsavo West NP--Ngulia Lodge4
2020-11-14 06:44Nelspruit--Mataffin6
2020-11-08 08:11Mikumi NP10
2020-11-20 15:05Tsavo West NP (general)5
2020-10-31 12:38Kruger NP--Matambeni Bird Hide2
2020-11-20 05:11Hazyview--Kruger Park Lodge2
2020-11-21 10:10Nelspruit Nature Reserve2
2020-11-18 05:49Kruger NP--Phabeni Gate4
2020-11-16 08:30Kruger NP--Pretoriuskop Rest Camp2
2020-11-16 10:00Kruger NP--Talamati Bushveld Camp1
2020-11-17 07:16Voi (general)5
2020-11-16 10:52Kruger NP--Voortrekker Rd/H2-22
2020-11-04 06:42Lion Sands Game Reserve9
2020-11-02 04:30Kruger NP--Satara Camp4
2020-11-27 08:01Sagala Lodge/Ndara Ranch
2020-11-18 08:08Kruger NP--Skukuza Camp2
2020-11-18 09:11Kruger NP--Skukuza: Sabie River Bridge3
2020-11-18 15:26Kruger NP--H12 @ Sabie River2
2020-11-26 05:18Kruger NP--S114 @ Biyamiti River4
2020-11-06 04:30Kruger NP--Lower Sabie Rest Camp2
2020-11-16 06:36East Usambara Mountains--Amani Nature Reserve5
2020-11-27 05:30Sand River Reservoir8
2020-11-22 05:11Ixopo--Kings Grant Country Retreat1
2020-11-18 11:46Shimba Hills NR--Shimba Hills Lodge2
2020-11-08 06:56Shongweni RR
2020-11-22 06:57Mida Creek2
2020-11-20 06:12Arabuko-Sokoke NP--Kenya Forest Service
2020-11-13 13:56Pennington - Umdoni Park11
2020-11-13 07:26Pugu Hills Nature Centre3
2020-11-02 07:49Eshowe - Brocklee Dam2
2020-11-15 05:50Macaneta-- Wetland, dune forests and coast5
2020-11-15 05:24Mount Moreland IBA
2020-11-01 11:30Umgeni River Mouth
2020-11-21 07:00Jozani Chwaka Bay NP
2020-11-01 09:12Mkhuze GR - Kumasinga Hide2
2020-11-03 07:16Mkhuze GR (please be more specific)11
2020-11-15 16:00Maputo Elephant Game Reserve20
2020-11-02 08:22Mkhuze GR - Nsumo Pan15
2020-11-12 09:00Phinda GR
2020-11-03 11:48Muzi Pan23
2020-10-31 05:19Bonamanzi GR
2020-11-08 07:30Mpempe Pan6